On the fourth day of school, all of the high school students loaded up three buses to drive to Spruce Lake Retreat Center for the high school retreat. This year the high school retreat was brought back after a two year hiatus.  Each day was filled with activities to help the students get closer to each other and to God.

When they got off the bus, they ate lunch and went right into a big team scavenger hunt. They had to work together to complete ten physical and mental activities with their teammates. The green, yellow, blue, and red teams ran around the campsite while avoiding being tagged by the “Oompa Loompas” (Mr. Landis and Mr. Buenano in furry purple wigs). “My favorite activity was the Oompa Loompa game because it was really entertaining, and I loved watching the teachers try to catch me!” said freshman Kara Spivey.

Later that night the students had their first session with speaker Mike Show. Coach Show is currently the Director of Athletics at Clark Summit University. Coach Show is a dynamic speaker who shared many personal anecdotes. He talked about the way a person who loves Christ should live. They should want to please their Father, look like their Father, and realize how much their Father loves them. The students enjoyed Coach Show’s three sessions.

“The messages were really good, especially the speaker because he gave life examples and I really liked that”, said freshman Sam Stuhl.“He was very engaging, and I really liked how he used his stories not just in the beginning to segway into his sermon but throughout the entire thing to continue tying it back to what we have in our lives”, said junior Elizabeth Solomine.

After the session the students broke out into their discipleship groups for the first time this year. As they met, the groups talked about who they want to please and if their choices point people to God. They talked about the gravity of the cross and what Jesus’ death and resurrection meant to them and how it affected their own lives.

During the trip, the students unplugged and turned in their phones for the teachers to keep. Many of the students enjoyed the time away from their phones. “That was a really good break for all of us to just be in the moment rather than checking social media and being caught up on our devices.” said Lynsey Trejo in eleventh grade.  

On the last night, each grade gathered around a campfire to roast marshmallows and reflect on the trip. Many students talked about how they were glad to be able to get to know each other better. They enjoyed seeing their classmates outside of school in a new light. The freshman did shout outs to classmates they wanted to highlight who helped them during the trip or friends who they became closer with. “I really like the retreat because I got to bond with the new girls and I loved the campfire! It was sweet because you got to hear what other people think of you!” Julia McInerney 9th grade.

The seniors told their stories to each other about their time at TCS and how they will cherish the moments they have during this last year together. “I liked that I was able to congregate with my classmates, the ones I knew and the ones I didn’t know and get the opportunity to see them altogether in a fun environment,” said senior Joshua Onativia.

We’re excited to start this new school year on a high note and we’re ready to see how God continues to move through the students this year!